Currently, Congress is debating extensive immigration reform. At the end of June, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Bill 744 which would expand the number of H-1B visas. The bill would also create a merit-based point system for future immigration based upon elements such as education and job skills. One section that is vastly important for Massachusetts is increasing the number of high-skilled foreign workers allowed to work and live in the United States. According to a study by two professors, the number of top universities as well as technology and scientific companies makes Massachusetts the second most reliant state on H-1B visas with the Boston area ranking fifth among all metropolitan areas in dependency on H-1B visas.
In a recent article, Harvard Business School Professor William Kerr stated that “changing the H-1B visa program will impact Boston and Massachusetts to a greater extent than they will many other parts of the United States. We’re a place that has always relied a lot on immigration in science and other technology. Our schools have lot of immigrants who graduate from them and want to stay in the United States.” Presently, the demand for H-1B visas is higher than those available.
For more information about immigration, see our webpage Massachusetts Law About Immigration.